Federal Law Enforcement Depicted Negatively

Table Of Contents

Conservative Trope Examples

  • FBI is corrupt doing deal with drug kingpin
  • FBI Agent Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner) has multiple illicit sexual encounters with Russ (Marc Menchaca) and gains his trust by convincing Russ that the two of them should open up a bait and tackle shop only to betray him and threaten to send him off to prison unless he becomes an FBI informant.
  • FBI Agent Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner) is a rogue FBI agent who will do whatever it takes to bring down Marty (Jason Bateman) and his family regardless of the law.
  • The FBI cut a deal with drug lord Omar Navarro, but then went back on their word and changed the deal at the last second, telling Navarro the FBI now insists he remain as head of the cartel and be an FBI informant where he would coordinate with the FBI on "monetary seizures" from the cartel.
    Staff Aside
    Not only did the FBI renege on their deal, they are depicted as caring more about "monetary seizures" than actually getting drugs off the streets.
  • The FBI is depicted as lacking morals and uses an innocent woman connected to Russian mob resulting in Beckett leaking information to save her which gets her fired.
  • Live Free or Die Hard (2007) | FBI Depicted as Incompetent
    The FBI cyber division has trouble handling a massive cyber attack on the country, but a lone hacker Matthew Farrell is able to figure things out and help save the day instead.
  • After the Sunset (2004) | FBI Depicted as Incompetent
    FBI Agent Lloyd is constantly outwitted by jewel thief Max.
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002) | FBI Depicted as Incompetent
    Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) concocts an elaborate scheme where he convinces a group of aspiring female flight attendants that he's an airline pilot and that they will be accompanying him on a two-month tour of Europe, but what he's really using them for is to avoid being captured by FBI agents waiting for him at the airport. He confidently walks in to the airport with the ladies surrounding him, breezing past the countless FBI agents and police officers there to nab him, with all of them instead freezing and gawking at the beautiful women as they walk through the airport, allowing Frank to walk right past them onto his flight.
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002) | FBI Depicted as Incompetent
    Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) convinces Carl (Tom Hanks) to let him go to the bathroom alone on the airplane because he's "going to be sick" after finding out that his father has passed away. He still hasn't come out of the bathroom as the plane begins its descent, so the agents break in to the toilet only to find Frank has vanished. They quickly realize Frank crawled through the space below the toilet and into the cargo hold below. As the plane lands the FBI agents feverishly run through the cabin telling people to stay in their seats, but it's too late and Carl hopelessly watches as Frank jumps out of the plane and escapes from the FBI yet again.
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002) | FBI Depicted as Incompetent
    Carl (Tom Hanks) catches Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) red handed in his hotel room, but Frank talks his way out of getting arrested by convincing Carl that he's a member of the Secret Service. He even gives Carl his wallet to prove he's a Secret Service agent, but instead of opening up the wallet and verifying Frank's story, he inexplicably keeps it closed and chooses to believe him. Frank then tells Carl that he needs to take some evidence down to his car and asks him to stay in the room to make sure nothing is tampered with. By the time Carl opens up the wallet to find it full of random clippings Frank is stepping into his car and driving away.
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002) | FBI Depicted Negatively
    Frank tells Carl (Tom Hanks) that there must be better hotel rooms to stay in, but Carl matter-of-factly says "it's the best room the FBI can afford." Frank responds "it's OK, I've stayed in worse."
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002) | FBI Depicted as Incompetent
    Frank outsmarts FBI agent Carl Hanratty in multiple embarrassing episodes until he is caught much later with the help of French authorities.
  • The Firm (1993) | FBI Depicted Negatively
    FBI agent Wayne Terrance says, "I'm a federal agent! You know what that means, you lowlife motherfucker? It means you've got no rights -- your life is mine! I could kick your teeth down your throat and yank them out your asshole, and I'm not even violating your civil rights!"
  • The FBI takes over the local police handling of the hostage situation in Nakatomi tower and one agent says, "when we commandeer your men, we'll try to let you know". Later while in a helicopter one agent estimates that 20-25% of the hostages may die during their raid and the other agent flippantly replies, "I can live with that." They engage in some cocky banter as their helicopters swoop in to land on the roof to start a hostage rescue. But it is a trap and the terrorist set off an explosion that blows up the helicopters. John McClane on his own saves the hostages instead by leading them away from the roof so they can run downstairs and escape the building.
    Additional Tropes: FBI Depicted as Incompetent